Indonesia suffers first trade deficit since late 2015

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JAKARTA Indonesia posted its first trade deficit since late 2015 in July, as imports surged more than exports, the statistics bureau said yesterday.

South-east Asia's largest economy had a trade deficit of US$271.2 million (S$369.2 million) in July.

A Reuters poll had forecast a US$1.1 billion surplus.

June's trade surplus was revised yesterday to $1.67 billion.

During July, both exports and imports increased sharply on an annual basis, because of a low base from July 2016, when the Eid al-Fitr holidays at the end of the Muslim fasting month fell.

This year, the holidays were in June.

In July this year, exports rose 41.12 per cent on a yearly basis to US$13.62 billion, compared with the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 31.12 per cent.

June's exports declined 11.71 per cent from a year earlier.

July imports jumped 54.02 per cent from last year to US$13.89 billion.

The poll had expected an increase of 30.34 per cent.

Imports declined 17.40 per cent in June. - REUTERS